Illinois men’s and women’s gymnastics open 2022 conference campaigns with two meet at Penn State

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Illini’s gymnastics teams will travel to University Park, Pennsylvania for their first doubleheader of the season against Penn State.

The meet is scheduled for Saturday and will use a new double-meeting format thanks to a new rule approved by the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Committee.

After a few rescheduled meets, this game against Penn State marks the first time the women’s gymnastics team will compete since winning over Central Michigan on Jan. 9.

The men’s team previously placed third when they last met, the Windy City Invitational, in Chicago on January 15. a 13.7 on vault.

Penn State, a Big Ten foe, is a familiar face for these Illini teams, having recently faced them last year.

The women’s team is currently on a two-game winning streak against Penn State after recently beating the Nittany Lions, 196.3-195.275, on Feb. 13. The men’s team lost its last game to Penn State, 399.3-399.150, on January 13. 31, 2021.

Justin Spring, head coach of the men’s team, shared how his athletes have weathered adversity over the past six months thanks to a range of different illnesses and COVID-19.

He recounted how a stomach bug hit the team during winter break which really slowed their progress heading into the 2022 spring season.

“We weren’t healthy sick-wise, but physically we were pretty good,” Spring said. “It was sick for the last three to four months, so we hadn’t had consistent training for a ton of our guys.”

Spring said it’s been tough getting his team back in shape since their progress slowed due to illness, but he hopes his team’s upcoming game against Penn State will help them get back on track.

“Over the past two weeks, we’ve been trying to increase consistency,” Spring said. “If we’re not 80% or higher this weekend, I’m going to be pretty upset.”

The Illini’s doubleheader against Penn State is scheduled to start at 3 p.m. and will be broadcast live on B1G+.

@ArtofRenato

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